stack of newspapers on tableEach Friday we’re rounding up #TopCity stories from our fantastic local news partners from throughout the week. Here’s what you may have missed!



Topeka News

Topeka Zoo educator a top 10 finalist in national contest

Rachael Rost has been selected as a top 10 finalist in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums AZA Heroes contest. The contest is a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which shares throughout the country what zoos do on a daily basis. Wiley said Topeka is the smallest community in the contest and is up against cities like Oklahoma City, Cincinnati, and San Diego. People can vote for Rost daily until Sept. 12. Read More

Also read Topeka Zoo educator honored as 30 under 30

Shawnee Heights preschool program benefits high-risk children

Reaching children early on to give them a better start is the goal of a new program at Shawnee Heights Unified School District 450. The district’s four-year-old preschool program kicked off with the beginning of the 2018-2019 academic year, Superintendent Marty Stessman said. According to Stessman, a year-round, all-day program creates the greatest impact on high-risk children, but a year-round program wasn’t feasible for USD 450. Instead, the district tailored its pre-school program to coincide with the regular school year. Read More

In talk at Washburn, Olympian John Carlos recalls historic 1968 protest

 Fifty years ago, USA track sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos etched their names in the annals of history by raising their fists in a salute that shocked the world during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Carlos, now 73, was in Topeka on Thursday, speaking to a nearly packed house at White Concert Hall on the Washburn University campus, near S.W. 17th and Jewell. Sponsors of the event included the Auburn-Washburn Public Schools Foundation and Hills. An estimated 700 area high-schoolers were among the attendees. Read More

Kansas Book Festival to be held Saturday at the Kansas Statehouse

At the Kansas Book Festival, organizer Mary Brownback says, there is a book for everyone. Options range from fiction to nonfiction, poetry, short stories, authors who write for children, adults and teens, and — new this year — an illustrator, for anyone who has an interest in drawing their characters. Read More

Native Topekan headlines Facebook Community Boost event, promotes online connections for small businesses

A native Topekan headlined the Facebook Community Boost event on Wednesday as Josh Mabry touted his Midwestern roots as he travels the country working for the mega social media corporation. Mabry grew up in the Collins Park neighborhood and attended Topeka High School. He spent several working at WIBW before joining Facebook three years ago and moving to New York City. Facebook will put on 50 Community Boost programs this year, Mabry said. Read More  

 Also read What’s a hashtag? Business owners learn about Facebook, social media

B.R.A.K.E.S. driving course for teenagers comes to Heartland Park

The weekend of September 22 and 23 won’t be the first time that NHRA champion drag racer Doug Herbert has been to Heartland Park, but this time he won’t be racing. Instead he will be bringing B.R.A.K.E.S., his defensive driving course for teens to the track. The Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe, or B.R.A.K.E.S., program was developed by Herbert following the deaths of his two sons, Jon and James, in January 2008. While grieving for his sons, whose accident had been the result of excessive speed, Herbert knew he wanted to do something to help other teens and to keep other parents from receiving calls such as the one he received. Read More

NOTO previews Buskerfest for First Friday (Video)

Pre-festival entertainment by musician Judd Henry Mason at NOTO Arts Center. Kick-off by the Topeka High School Drum Line from the NOTO Arts Center. 6 entertainers throughout the district include The Singed Ginger, The Astonishing Curtis, The Flying Debris Show, Pyrocatz, The Last Carnival Aerial Acrobats, and Mooncalf the Magician. Watch here

Seaman teacher honored with Outstanding Art Educator award

Seaman High School art teacher Brad LeDuc has been named the 2018-2019 Outstanding Secondary Art Educator of the Year by the Kansas Art Education Association. Not bad for someone who as a student was more of a sports jock who happened to enjoy drawing and making things with his hands. The honor came LeDuc’s way after he was nominated by another educator for his commitment to students, the community and the arts at Seaman High School. He also shares his educational knowledge at a variety of professional development conferences. Read More

City of Character awards honor Topeka pastor, Explorer post youths

A Topeka pastor who has helped spearhead a food pantry for residents in his church’s neighborhood will be honored Wednesday with a Champion of Character award during a monthly program sponsored by the Safe Streets Coalition. According to Safe Streets, the Champion of Character award is presented to a person who demonstrates “character that significantly improves the health, safety and quality of life in the community.” Read More

What to expect at Friday’s Huff ‘n Puff event

The annual Huff ‘n Puff hot air balloon rally takes flight Friday, but with a big move. Dozens of balloons are set to light the skies for the annual Huff ‘n Puff rally.After 20 years at Lake Shawnee, festivities will kick off Friday afternoon at Mount Hope Cemetery. Organizers say the vacant land north of the cemetery gives them three times the space compared to Lake Shawnee. This will allow for more balloons and better viewing. Read More

Dozens of trucks filled the Capital City

More than 50 trucks filled the streets of downtown Topeka. No truck was too big, too loud, or even too dirty for the annual Touch a Truck event. Kids explored all parts of the trucks including the driver’s seat and the tires. Some even learned how they were operated. Read More


Community Surveys

Want your voice to be heard in public surveys? Check this one out.

Topeka Metro Long Range Transit Plan – Take the Survey
Deadline is Sunday, September 30, 2018
– Purpose of the plan is to identify, analyze, and prioritize a set of transit improvements that can be made to enhance the existing and future Topeka Metro bus system.